In Memory of Rock
Directed by François Reichenbach • Documentary • With Johnny Hallyday, Les Chaussettes Noires • 1963 • 11 minutes
IN MEMORY OF ROCK captures the power, promise, and fear generated by the early days of rock n’roll. It is also a fascinating study in the juxtaposition of image and music. Outside an arena, a crowd of young people gather for a concert, the camera lingering on them as we hear a Boccherini minuet. Inside, rising French rock stars Eddy Mitchell, Vince Taylor and Johnny Hallyday gyrate in leather jackets and cowboy boots to pounding drumbeats. Meanwhile, the floor in front of the stage turns into a proto-mosh pit (complete with injury), while the police perpetrate violence of their own. Is rock n’roll harmless fun or a social ill? This short offers no judgments, leaving interpretation to the viewer.